KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 ― Malaysia’s new vision for equitable wealth can only be achieved if Malaysians co-operate with the government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said after launching the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 here today.
The prime minister said Malaysia can never progress and move away from the rampant corruption and power abuse of the past 15 years if Malaysians, especially the Bumiputera, are not willing to work hard.
“We launched this plan knowing it has the ability to increase the wealth of the Bumiputera by about 30 per cent. But if the Bumis aren't willing to work hard and go to universities to study and better themselves, then it will be hard for us to achieve our goal.
“With SPV 2030, we have designed a way for us to rely on the poor and needy to achieve our aim of being a developed nation by 2030, but what I've noticed is that many in the country aren't interested in doing the hard jobs,” he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.
He said the Malaysian attitude that was overly-reliant on others, especially migrant labour, to perform “dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs” have continued to this day.
Dr Mahathir recalled that those who migrated to Malaysia in the past were very hardworking and did the jobs no one wanted.
He said that the same people who are now citizens have progressed and are doing well in life.
The architect of Vision 2020 said the SPV 2030 is specifically designed to uplift the life of poor Malaysians, targeting 70 per cent of the Bumiputera including those in Sabah and Sarawak.
He gave an assurance that the government will ensure the country’s newfound wealth will be properly shared out to those who are willing to work hard for it and learn how to better themselves.
“This time it's slightly different. We will choose who we feel are deserving of the opportunity to learn and work,” Dr Mahathir said in explaining the difference between Vision 2020 and SPV 2030.
“Those who are passionate and hardworking, we will teach them and guide them on how to improve themselves. Those without education and training, will be trained by us,” he added.
Dr Mahathir also said his Pakatan Harapan government wants to put an end to cash handouts but will offer aid in other forms .
He explained that the practice by previous administrations was not a long-term solution to poverty, which would continue endlessly as long as the target groups expect cash from the government.
“We have to help the poor catch up with the rest of society. The past 15 years have been riddled with the government giving money to the poor and when we stop or don't have the money to offer assistance like this, they become poor again.
“This time around, we will offer training and opportunities and they will be the ones responsible for ensuring the success of their endeavours. We as the government will be there to help, monitor and study their methods and guide them to be successful,” Dr Mahathir said.
SPV 2030 is expected to move Malaysia's workforce from a labour intensive one to a high-skilled high income earning nation.
Priority is given the ultra poor and bottom 40 per cent of wage earners, among nine focus groups.